|Centre takes an 'L' but comes out swell
RELEASED: June 19, 2001
Football team loses to pro team from Austria, yet bonds while visiting Europe
DANVILLE, KYThe Centre College football team suffered a 30-6 setback to the Tyrolean Raiders of the Austrian International Football League in an exhibition game June 10, but the sun did indeed come up the following morning and that's when the real fun began.
The Colonels fell to the Raiders, a professional team, in a downpour that Sunday afternoon in Innsbruck, Austria. But the group of 90 with the Centre football team that included players, coaches and other companions, awoke Monday to cool, sunny weather. The 53 players on the eight-day trip then had free time to travel to such places as the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Northern Italy, Southern Germany, and other destinations. Groups of 10 or 15 paired off to explore different areas.
"The game wasn't as significant as what the kids experienced," said Centre Head Coach Andy Frye, who along with many members of the group had never been to Europe before. "We saw many wonderful, historic things. They do such a good job of preserving their history. If you were to ask 30 of us what was the most impressive thing we saw, you'd get 30 different answers. We visited something as sobering and horrific as concentration camps, to the beauty of the Swiss Alps."
The Colonels were able to keep it close early against the Raiders, trailing 13-6 at halftime. But the rain helped neutralize Centre's speed, and the Raiders' strength prevailed in the second half. The Raiders are ranked in the top 10 of all professional teams in Europe.
Frye credited his running backs and linebackers with having solid performances as all 53 Centre players saw significant playing time in the game.
Running backs Travis Bell, Jeremy Britt and Justin Beinkampen had good showings, as did linebackers Carter Conley, Spencer McKinness and Benny List, Frye said. "This helped us come together," Frye said. "Seeing the camaraderie was exciting."
Most helpful were the 10 practices the NCAA granted the Colonels in preparation for the game.
Frye wouldn't mind if the Colonels received another crack at the Raiders some day.
"I would like that," he said. "I really appreciate the administration's desire to let us do this. We basically took the entire team. The early part of the trip we had designed tours, but after the game the kids had three days to be on their own. It was really special."
Centre begins the 2001 season Sept. 8 when the Colonels host Earlham College. The Colonels return 30 letterman, including 18 starters. Centre finished last season with a 5-5 record including a 25-21 win over Trinity University, then ranked No. 2 in the nation.
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